UB acquires Biodiesel Plant from Springboard Biodiesel (USA)
The University of Botswana becomes the 100th University in the world to acquire the Biodiesel plant. It was commissioned recently by the University at the Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The machine was supplied by Springboard Biodiesel a company based in The United States of America. In an interview with Engineer Magazine at the sideline of the commissioning of the plant at the University of Botswana ,Matt Roberts of Springboard Biodiesel said “The machine makes biodiesel for less cost than the cost of diesel at the pump and just as importantly fuel emits 90% less carbon dioxide (Co2 and 50% less particulate matter, which causes diseases like asthma and others.”
In Sub Saharan Africa, Botswana becomes the second country to have such kind of machine from The United States. Other African countries using a similar machine include Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. These countries have also shown interest to acquire a similar machine. United States Military is using the same machine in Afghanistan. Matt Roberts explained that the machine will take 2 or 3years before one can start to replace parts and Springboard Biodiesel will supply and service the machine. The cost to buy the biodiesel plant is US$23 000 and shipment is around US$ 2 000. It produces 380litres of biodiesel and it is the highest grade of biodiesel called the ASTMD6751. The number of liters produced by the machine can be increased from 380litres to 1200liters of biodiesel if additional equipment is mounted. “You load the machine with inputs, turn the machine on, press start and it makes highest grade of biodiesel, very simple and very safe” said Roberts. The machine is automated it does all the functions for you, inputs goes through a heating process and you get the final product. Vehicles using this type of Biodiesel can also use diesel from the fuel station and even if it is mixed at any ratio the vehicle will still work e.g a vehicle with half tank of biodiesel can be fueled with diesel from the fuel pump.